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SubjectRe: New Linux distribution - PSL
What a good explaination of whatewer I wanted to say! :))
CC'd to PSL maillist.

Twylite wrote:
> I think you're missing the point - I will admit that I haven't tried
> the latest RedHat version(s) ; but then you've conceeded that RedHat
> doesn't go heavy on security - its just that there is no 'out the box
> usable' distribution of Linux.
> No matter what distribution I download, I have to spend a fair amount
> of time customising and tweaking and (especially) patching and getting
> the latest binaries in order to do what I need to do. In the most
> recent case, that involved settings up a (fairly secure) non-routing
> gateway that would provide SMTP, POP, a squid proxy, and SMB access to
> the machines on our LAN. Its not a tall order - but it involves at
> least the download or squid and samba separately, and a lot of effort
> on the /etc directory to make the system look even vaguely like a
> locked door. Also, Slackware (for one) typically enables a bunch of
> (mostly unnecessary) daemons such as the sun RPC mapper (fine if you
> use the stuff - but who does these days? Maybe I'm just in a different
> environment).
> What I'd really like to see is a secure minimal base system, which you
> install before any "distribution". The put the distribution on top,
> according to the machine's function. For example, a 'server'
> distribution
> would get samba and squid (okay, I'm biased ;p ), and a 'workstation'
> distribution may get some nice KDE stuff.
> I'm also sick of the distributions getting as bloated as an NT
> installation -
> I use maybe 20% of the *essential do not attempt to remove* binaries
> regularly - and about 40% I never use ; sure they're there for
> historical
> reasons, and I can accept that as a good excuse for a Solaris or HP-UX
> system, but this IS the 90's and we are talking about a system which
> hopefully is progressive ... after all, if you need backwards
> compatibility to that extent, why not get a 'back-compat' package ...?
> Linux has a very promising future IMHO, but unfortunately it can't cut
> it as an effective answer to MS at the moment (much as I hate to say
> so).
> Although as a server it far outstrips anything else (also IMNSHO), it
> does lack the ease of use required for a small company (without a
> dedicated administrator) to use it. Also, the lack of application
> support for critical tasks (such as, a decent wordprocessor or
> spreadsheet - and I mean graphical and preferably free [leech]) makes it
> ineffective as a workstation.
> But back to the original topic...
> I think debian (or slackware or redhat or whatever) could be greatly
> improved if there existed a base, miminal, secure 'generic Linux'
> system - say just a kernel, X Server (not manager, etc), libraries and
> essential tools like a compiler and some scripting language (which
> naturally would have to be PERL [I'm biased here too]). The compiler
> of course would be optional ... but the idea being that there would
> exist a standard base which all distributions would work off. The
> specific package install method, binaries offered and interface would
> then be package dependant ... but there would be some sort of guarentee
> that all systems had certain binaries and certain tools/compilers/
> scripters that were common.
> Anyway, I'm waffling now ... okay, had my say, time to get back to
> work (anyone know how to get Qt to compile on HP-UX when the X headers
> are missing...? ;( )
> Twylite
> -
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